Alabama has been a recruiting juggernaut as the Crimson Tide continues its reign atop the college football landscape.
But the first major chink in its armor could come during the recruiting process as five-star running backs Cam Akers and Najee Harris narrow their respective decisions.
Akers, the No. 2 running back in the country, will commit to a school on December 27 and has narrowed his list to Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss, Alabama, Florida State and Tennessee.
According to SEC Country, that list is much smaller, with the reported main contenders Florida State, LSU and Ole Miss.
247sports’ Crystal Ball predicts the Mississippi native to Florida State.
If Akers does commit to a school not named Alabama, which he’s expected to since he didn’t visit Tuscaloosa during the fall, it would leave Harris as Alabama’s five-star running back.
But there’s the possibility Harris, who has been committed to Alabama since his sophomore year and is the No. 1 back in the class, could leave the Tide as well.
“I’m going to take my five visits, but I just don’t know where,” Harris said (in October), per Jim Halley of USA Today. “Let’s say this: My mind isn’t set on Alabama. I’m not 100 percent set on Alabama. I’m trying to see what else is out there for me. I’m using my visits to see. As much attention as I’ve gotten, I feel like I have helped my teammates get some offers, too.”
247sports’ Crystal Ball projections have since turned on the Tide, giving USC a 50 percent shot, with Michigan coming in at 33 percent and Alabama at 17.
The emergence of quarterback Jalen Hurts certainly would help heal against the blow of losing out on the two top running backs in the class, but how the offense changes under Steve Sarkisian remains to be seen.